Feet up! Six things to watch this week
Pop that corn! We've got Christopher Walken in a dinky British comedy, the best performance of Carey Mulligan's career, a genre-defining horror classic, and more on this week.
The Outlaws, BBC1, 25 Oct
Hollywood legend Christopher Walken makes his British TV debut, somehow having agreed to star in a show about community service in Bristol. Except the sharpness of the script let’s you know why he signed on — this new comedy drama by Stephen Merchant (co-writer of The Office, Extras, Life’s Too Short) has already got critics’ tongues wagging. The story follows seven archetypal characters (shoplifting Oxford candidate, insufferable influencer, you get the gist) but this is by no means clichéd.
Wildlife, BBC2, 27 Oct
This indie gem from 2018 is on late, 11.15pm (‘on a school night?!‘, you cry), but is more than worth catching on iPlayer. Adapted from a novel by Richard Ford, it tells the story of a teenage boy who has moved to a small town in 1950s Montana with his parents, and their marriage slowly falls apart. It’s genuinely beautiful filming, and has a proper knockout performance from Carey Mulligan (widely said to be her best ever!), as well as from Jake Gyllenhaal (what a combo!).
The Long Call, ITV, 25 Oct
A fair bit of Broadchurch-y vibes to this latest ITV detective drama, which sees a body discovered on a North Devon beach. It’s adapted from a book by crime writer Ann Cleeves (who brought us both Vera and Shetland), and — here’s a nice fact for ya — boasts prime time TV’s first ever gay male detective. Expect sensational seascapes, creepy evangelical Christians, and plenty of mystery.
Colin In Black And White, Netflix, 29 Oct
Colin Kaepernick made headlines in 2016 when he knelt during the national anthem at the start of NFL games, protesting against police brutality in the US. This new series mixes documentary with drama to tell his story, switching between a charismatic Kaepernick narrating, and young actor Jaden Michael playing his teen self, raised by adoptive white parents. Kaepernick’s civil-rights activism mean the show is often didactic, but it’s ideal Black History Month viewing, and also tells a tender coming-of-age story.
One Night, Britbox, 28 Oct
Filmed in both Swedish and English, a bit like Ruth Jones’ Keeping Faith was with Welsh, this ten-part series follows two people on a blind date in Oslo. It boasts some impressive acting chops, in parts both raw and realistic.
The Exorcist, BBC2, 30 Oct
See in Halloween with this genre-defining horror classic from 1973. It won two Oscars and four Golden Globes, set a box office record that remained unbeaten for 44 years, and is film critic Mark Kermode’s “favourite film of all time”. BBC2 is showing it at 10.40pm, so this iconic story of demonic possession will take you right through into the 31st…
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